Boyoz Pastry of Izmir
Boyoz is Turkish pastry that is associated with the Izmir region and is prepared commercially using an original recipe; the inhabitants of Izmir see this pastry as a symbol of their city and when they are away from home will have a longing for it. The most common Boyoz is made plain without additional fillings of meat, cheese or spinach, and there are only a few master bakers left in Izmir still traditionally making it.Boyoz is also found in other places the Spanish settled like Chile, Peru and Mexico. In the Spanish language it is written Bollos which translates as “a bundle” or “a package”. The original master bakers that prepared Boyoz in Izmir were Jewish and today’s masters that keep this tradition going have been trained by the late Avram Usta, a famous baker of Boyoz pastry.
Boyoz in HistoryThe origins of Boyaz pastry is Judeo-Spanish as it was Sephardic Jewish immigrants that brought this food culture with them after being evicted from Spain in 1492.
How it is MadeBoyoz is made from a mixture of flour, sunflower oil and a small amount of tahin (tahini or sesame paste) is kneaded like bread into a dough ball and left to rest for 2 hours. The dough is then flattened out into a thin round and is left to rest again, then kneaded once more before being formed into a ball and then left to rest again for several hours. When the dough is still soft and starting to break into pieces it is cut into small balls, placed in rows in cooking pans and marinated in sunflower oil for between 30 minutes to an hour after which they are baked at a high temperature.
How to Eat BoyozBoyoz is traditionally eaten with a hard-boiled egg sprinkled with salt and black pepper while drinking a glass of Turkish black tea. Many bakeries sell Boyoz and there are street vendors “gevrekçi” all over the city selling them from their food carts that are provided by the Izmir municipality authorities. You can either purchase from these stalls or try it at a restaurant that serves breakfast.
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